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Fire Away! by Dee Jay Gude

Let me preface this column by saying that I truly think people are stupid.  They do so many asinine things that it’s hard not to come to that conclusion.  Browser the Cyberdog has more on the ball than many of the humans that inhabit his world.  This disdain for my fellow man was reinforced this morning when I picked up a copy of the Washington Post and saw, in the Style section, that Darva Conger (the chick who wanted to marry a millionaire) was unhappy with her new husband and planned on ditching him (but keeping some of her newfound loot).

It’s not so much that this chickie made a promise, on national television, to be this guy’s best friend, lover, whatever, and then promptly disparaged him to Diane Sawyer.  No, what really makes me question the intelligence of my fellow Americans is that 16 MILLION housefuls of you watched that garbage to begin with.

Not that I want to lord it over you and try to claim the moral high ground as my domain, but while you all were watching Rick Rockwell (what a name) choose his beloved mate for life in this oh-so-touching manner, I was watching George W. and John McCain squabble like children over which of them would make a better leader for our country.  And it was terrifically entertaining!  An excerpt:

GW:  You’re still saying mean things about me, even after you said you’d quit!

JM:  I am not!

GW:  Are too!

JM:  Prove it!

GW:  Okay!  Tah-dah!  (whips out a derogatory flyer he found under some guy’s windshield)

JM:  That’s not mine!

GW:  Is so!  It even says your name on it!

JM:  Well, it’s not mine and I don’t know how it got there.  I didn’t do it, nobody saw me, you can’t prove a thing!

And so on and so on…with one notable exception.  Alan Keyes earned my vote and my wholehearted support that night.  As the only voice of reason, maturity and (gulp!) leadership at that table, Keyes has convinced me that he is the only candidate in the arena who is qualified to be our next President.

And what’s more, he actually answered every question thrown his way!  He didn’t dance around the subject or say it was none of anyone’s business – he simply answered the question.  I was so excited about Keyes that I couldn’t wait to get the papers the next day and see if anyone else was as impressed as I.  And guess what?  Nothing!  You could read just about every word spoken by W. and McCain, but almost nothing about Keyes’ contribution.  So I went online to see if Yahoo, or anyone else would be more objective.  Again, nothing…it’s all W/McCain, all the time.

So I took to the streets for an informal poll of my acquaintances.  Very few had watched the debate but expressed approval of what little they knew about Keyes and his opinions.  They said, “Yeah, I like that guy and what he stands for…but I’m not going to vote for him.”  “WHAT!?!” said I, “If you like the guy, why wouldn’t you give him your vote?”  And do you know what they said?

“Because he can’t win and I don’t want to waste my vote.”

Imagine that.  You like a guy and think he would make a fine President but you don’t want to “waste” your vote on him.  Does it occur to anyone that if they voted for the candidate they really liked, maybe he’d have a better chance?  Of course he can’t win if nobody votes for him!  So who are you going to vote for instead?  The lesser of the two remaining evils?  As my grandmother used to say, “You can’t raise bacon by feeding the chickens.”

Now I don’t claim to be some intellectual guru, but it occurs to me that the only wasted vote is a vote for the candidate that does not best represent your views.  So I truly hope and pray that on March 7, when we Marylanders will all have the opportunity to vote in our state’s primary, we will have the good sense to choose the candidates that we really want to have as leaders – not who the media tells us will win.  Gore, Bush, McCain, Bradley, Buchanan, Keyes, whoever…as long as you’re casting an honest vote.

Unless, of course, Rick Rockwell goes on TV that day to replace his errant bride and you stay home to watch it instead.  Then I will be thrilled that you stayed away from the polls and did not choose to inflict your ignorance on the rest of us.

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